Sometimes at adoration, I pray by writing to Jesus. It helps me focus on speaking to him rather than trying to control my thoughts as they wander all over creation. I thought I'd share with you what I wrote this First Friday - it's just stream of consciousness but sort of the Ignatian method, where you put yourself into the Gospel scene and try to imagine it and talk to Jesus. Here goes:
"Could you not watch one hour with me?"
I'm kneeling beside him in the garden, watching him wracked with grief and pain. His body tense, shaking, next to me. Tears from my so - powerful king. And the sweat of blood - it scares me, but I dare not interrupt his thoughts to ask if he's alright, if he needs anything. "Father..." the cry of a son, full of love and pain and pleading. Father...I cry out too, begging that he be saved from whatever is tormenting him so terribly. The wind rustles the trees but the night is still. I dare not leave him to wake John or one of the other disciples - what if worse than the bloody sweat comes upon him and he is alone? "If it be your will, let this cup pass from me..." What cup? The meal was finished...this has been a strange evening already, unsettled. But there must be some meaning in his words. He is in such torment, and I don't know what to do, only to stay with him and keep watch. I want to reach out and touch him, comfort him, but I am afraid. I feel my heart tighten with worry and confusion. Father, help him! Relieve him of this burden! He speaks again, and the tension in his body loosens. He almost falls to the ground. "Nevertheless, not my will but thine be done." I hear him almost gasp out the words but there is a calm finality to his tone. "Thy will be done..." His face relaxes a little, and he rests his forehead on the cool stone, hands placed palm up. His body is still trembling, his weight supported entirely by the rock. I can tell he's drained by whatever he just went through. My attention is still riveted on him, my hands clenched together, my ears straining for a whisper. His breaths are long, shuddering still but slowing down. I want to take his hand, tell him I'm there, it's okay, you're not alone, but I have to just kneel there and keep begging God to let me help him somehow. I'm still keyed up, but suddenly he glances over and smiles just a little. I can hear the love in his voice. "Thank you." I see a peace descend upon his face, although there is still a tension. He seems to be waiting for something. "Don't worry. Thank you for staying with me - it was easier, knowing that someone was here. Go back and wait with the twelve. When I am taken, go and find my mother." I don't want to leave him. That bloody sweat...and I've never seen him so distraught. Even when Lazarus died. So what is it, now, that has tortured him so terribly? But he nods, I give him a quick hug and do as he says. The night just got worse from there. As I left, I heard him speaking - to another, or to his father? I didn't dare look back, I knew if I did I'd run back and cling to him, try to protect him. I'm too weak for that. My place is by his side, just to be there. I'm glad I helped a little.